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Parents May Contribute Acne Gene to Teens

Posted: September 22, 2009

A new study shows teenagers whose parents had moderate to severe acne may have a greater chance of the skin condition, tipping off skin care professionals to watch for patterns in their clients.

Teenagers' odds of developing moderate to severe acne may depend largely on whether their parents had the problem, a new study suggests.

Most teenagers have occasional acne breakouts, with the hormonal shifts of adolescence, particularly elevations in testosterone, the prime culprit. But some teens, and adults, develop more extensive acne that may require treatment with topical prescriptions or oral medications, such as antibiotics or isotretinoin, a synthetic form of vitamin A.

It has been unclear why some teenagers are prone to more-severe acne, but these new findings, from a study of 1,000 Iranian high school students, suggest that family history may be key.

Researchers found that 14% of the students had moderate to severe acne, with the prevalence varying significantly based on family history. Of teenagers whose parents or siblings ever had moderate to severe acne, 20% had the same problem.